Many unique and amazing components comprise a person’s mental abilities. A theory developed in the 1970s and 80s, Emotional Intelligence, concerns the ability to understand and regulate the emotions, strengths, and weaknesses of yourself and others. There is one school of thought that believes you are born with emotional intelligence, while a second more popular school of thought believes it can be taught and developed. Seminars and training programs offer employers and employees a realistic approach to achieving success and workplace harmony. One thing is certain, more and more businesses rely on the concept of emotional intelligence in the development of training programs and workplace relationships.
An important and valuable leadership competency, self-awareness is the power to recognize the areas in which you excel and the areas where you need to develop greater skills. No one has all the answers, but there are those in management who feel they do. This can be problematic in the workplace. Leaders who take responsibility for the areas where they lack knowledge increase their management effectiveness and build trust and respect with the employees in their departments. The business world is highly competitive, but when you pretend to know more than you do, it is recognizable to your superiors and those under your management. Recognition of your weaknesses and a willingness to learn makes a better impression than pretending to know it all.
The ability to control your negative thoughts and emotions in the workplace is critical to success. How do you react to disruptive actions and negative emotions? Is your reaction dictated by emotion, or do you have the ability to discern the reason for the negativity and direct it into a positive action. There are a number of important competencies associated with self-regulation, including trustworthiness, self-control, initiative, achievement, and optimism. Although it is necessary to gain control of our emotions, there are times it is good to be exuberant about positive emotions. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances in the workplace is an important aspect of self-regulation. Managing your emotions may be as simple as taking several deep breaths or taking a few minutes away from a difficult situation to get a drink of water.
Good social skills are essential in forming relationships with other people in the workplace. One important element of social skills is the ability to listen to others present their ideas and opinions without interruption or distraction. You can show your interest in what a person is saying by taking a few notes. If you have a question about what is being said, ask after the presentation is completed. It’s extremely important, as a management or team leader, to develop your communication skills in order to present your ideas and suggestions with clarity. This ability strengthens your efficiency and capacity for leadership and enhances your skill for getting those under you to accomplish tasks in a timely manner.
When making workplace decisions, it’s important to take the needs and feelings of employees into consideration. Understanding the needs of others and how your decisions impact their perception of what is expected is crucial. Although to some this may seem altruistic, in reality it helps build stronger relationships and better cooperation in getting tasks completed. Show an interest in those working under you and pay attention to the signals they give you both verbally and non-verbally.
Your ability to motivate others is key to your success in business management. Gentle praise is a motivational booster shot. Letting people know their efforts and accomplishments are noticed and appreciated is essential. Trophies and awards are often not as motivating as the pat on the back and a compliment in front of fellow employees. Assigning a new responsibility lets an employee know you trust their abilities to accomplish the task successfully. Get to know the people working for you, including their strengths and weaknesses. Help them to set challenging and realistic goals, and encourage them to meet those goals.
By developing and training your own emotional intelligence, you will find it is improving in your staff as well. By helping other employees achieve their work goals, you are also providing them with skills to enhance their life and successfully achieve personal life goals.
Jack Simony is a hedge fund manager from New York City, and serves as the Chairman of The Negotiation Institute. The Negotiation Institute provides customized executive skills programs to corporate, government, educational and non-profit entities in the United States of America and abroad.